In this post, we’re talking about our simple guide to zero waste cleaning. It can be tempting, especially in the day and age of oversharing online, to rush out and replace everything in your house with the latest sustainable item you can find, but don’t forget that the aim of the game is to reduce waste, and we aren’t reducing waste by throwing out perfectly well-working items just because they don’t fit in with today’s narrative.
Whilst the term “zero waste” is a bit of misnomer, it’s still a step in the right direction in waste reduction and our reducing our impact on the environment. It’s impossible to be fully zero-waste, everything has to be transported, manufactured and brought to our doors or shops in some form or other, but it is not impossible to make simple and sustainable swaps!
So let’s start with the basics CLEANING PRODUCTS.
The first swap we urge you to make is to natural, vegan, dye-free, synthetic fragrance-free and natural cleaning products (like ours!). Or if you are able to, why not try making your own cleaning products? It’s amazing what you can achieve with white vinegar and essential oils!
So why do we urge you to swap to a cleaning product that might not be zero waste… Conventional cleaning can not only be irritating to both our nose and throat but can also have an adverse effect on the environment. By choosing to use products that are filled with harsh chemicals and synthetic dyes and fragrances we are simply washing these unsavoury ingredients into our waterways and breathing them in when we use them. And watch out for products who use “greenwashing” to sell a version of the same thing to you simply by switching up an aspect of packaging (my personal favourite being “plastic-free” claims when a company is using a plant bottle, a plant bottle is still a plastic bottle).
Next, you might want to think about CLEANING UTENSILS.
Most of us probably have sponges and cleaning tools made from plastic in our home. The first thing is that it’s wasteful to simply throw them out because they no longer serve you moving forwards in a strive for a greener home. It’s ok to still use these items until they have naturally run their course. For instance, a perfectly well function plastic toilet brush can last for years, is there really any point to discarding it just yet? But when things like this finally do need replacing then we urge you to look into replacing them with more sustainable counterparts, bamboo, steel or silicone are all interesting replacements that can last for decades if looked after properly.
But let us look at some other items that can be replaced. Items such as paper towels can easily be swapped for rags or reusable dishcloths. Get a few together so you don’t have to keep putting the washing machine on every day.
You can swap sponges out for bamboo alternatives and long-lasting brushes, and make an attempt to keep these themselves clean by not letting them sit in water when they’re not being used.
Last but not least, KEEP THINGS SIMPLE
What is one of the best ways of keeping our homes feeling fresh? It’s simple, open the windows and doors and let the fresh air in. We also recommend turning down your bedding in the morning to air it out throughout the day and changing the sheets at least once a week, make sure you use a natural laundry product and whilst it's tempting to reach for dryer sheets (please ditch these!) and artificially scented softeners, a natural softener with delicately scented essential oils will be better for you and the environment.
Leave your clothes to dry outside if you can, or get a clothes horse to reduce the need to use the tumble dryer (this will also help to make your clothes last longer).
Find a routine that works for you with your home and you’ll find that you’ll end up having to do less heavy-duty cleaning, this can help reduce the amount of product you need to use as you’re less likely to let dirt and mess build up. Reducing clutter so you don’t have dust collection shelves will also help with the quality of air in your home.
Keep your cleaning supplies together. How many times have you rushed out to buy a product you thought you were missing only to discover it hidden in a cupboard in another room to where you usually keep it? As with above, staying organised and keeping a routine can help reduce your waste.
Try and refill your products or purchase products in bulk to help reduce your packaging, and always make the effort to recycle where you can. We’re very excited about bringing out our 5L and 20L products very soon!